Burglary spree earns five years’ jail

Thursday March 22, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

Vaikaloa Taufahema was jailed for five years and three months when he appeared before Justice Judith Potter in the Cook Islands High Court yesterday.

 

The 23-year-old appeared for sentencing relating to five charges of theft, six of burglary, and one of attempted burglary.

Last June, Taufahema stole a handbag from a 69-year-old woman. He then used her ATM card on four separate occasions, withdrawing a total of $420.00. Then on October 14 last year, Taufahema went on a burglary spree. He broke into a total of five commercial premises, using what police described as “a heavy duty instrument”.

Taufahema accumulated an array of money, clothing, alcohol, and computer hard drives during this spree. He also stole a firearm from his father-in-law, which is yet to be recovered. He allegedly sold it for $500.00 and is unwilling to disclose who he sold it to.

Taufahema first appeared before the courts at the age of just 14. He has appeared several times in court and has served at least two terms of imprisonment.

Justice Potter labelled his offending as “very deliberate”.

“Burglary undermines the security of the community in Rarotonga”, she added.

Justice Potter said there were many aggravating factors in Taufahema’s offending, with only an “inevitable” plea of guilty as a mitigating factor.

She said Taufahema’s sentence acknowledged the fact that he had already been in remand for 12 months.

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